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DPU Gender Policy and Planning Programme (GPPP)

The Gender Policy and Planning Programme (GPPP) has been a major activity contributing towards the DPU’s vision and mission since 1984, when it was set up by Caroline Moser with Caren Levy.  With its origins in a series of short training courses, the GPPP has expanded into an international programme encompassing teaching, action research, policy advice and institutional capacity building. The aim of the GPPP is twofold: to advance and strengthen knowledge and expertise for a critical and transformatory approach to mainstreaming a gender perspective in development policy, planning and research, and; to explore gender relations in democratic governance, with a particular emphasis on advancing gender justice and the empowerment of women.

Over the last 30 years, the GPPP has provided a platform for the development of DPU’s gender planning methodology, one of 4 internationally acknowledged approaches to addressing gender equality developed in the 1980s and 1990s.  This methodology provides conceptual tools for context and policy analysis, strategy development and the assessment of progress towards gender mainstreaming, including the strategy development for government organisations, NGOs, and bi-lateral and multi-lateral agencies, operating at country, sectoral or organisational levels. The DPU’s central methodological tool is the ‘Web of Institutionalization’, developed by Caren Levy.  ‘The Web’  takes a systemic view to diagnose progress on the institutionalisation of gender justice in organisations and institutions, at the level of countries, sectors, programmes and/or organisations, and the development of strategy to consolidate and push forward transformatory change.  These methodologies are constantly evolving on the basis of our involvement in policy advice, institutional capacity building and action research in a range of institutional and organisational settings in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. 

The Gender Policy and Planning Programme offers tailor made training programmes both in the UK and in-country. Training is usually preceded by a training needs assessment and the development of a training strategy, which includes training, follow-up, monitoring and evaluation. The objective of training is not only to impart knowledge and skills for gender integration in policy and planning at appropriate levels, but also to develop local training capacity. To this end, training of trainers is often a key component.

Specific training is tailored according to need, and past training has been undertaken for a range of development organisations such as the:

  • Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC-DEZA)
  • British Council
  • Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD)
  • Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)
  • UK Department for International Development (DFID)
  • United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UN Habitat), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (UNESCAP) and the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV) and the United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women (UNDAW, now part of UN Women)

In addition training has been undertaken for government departments and agencies in and from a number of countries including Bangladesh, Ecuador, Namibia, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Vietnam. The DPU has also provided gender training for NGOs, including organizations such as REPSSI, an NGO promoting Psycho-Social Services for children affected by HIV/AIDS, conflict and poverty in South and Eastern Africa, and BIMKOM, an Israeli NGO promoting planning rights for Palestinians.

An example of recent training was our ‘Gender, Social Justice and Citizenship’ training programme. This was a series of five (twelve week) courses run by the DPU from 2005 – 2009 as part of the Chevening Fellowship Programme (an initiative from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in cooperation with the British Council, which is a scholarship scheme aimed at mid-career professionals).

The overall objective of the course was explore the factors that influence how women and men in the global South exercise their right to participate in decision making structures and processes of governance, in the context of gender and other social relations. As well as ensuring exposure to research and academic debates, the course was also grounded in practice, with the aim, by the end of each course, to support participants in developing action plans to promote gender equality and social justice in their own field of work. The course participants were women and men from a range of professional backgrounds, including politicians, journalists, government officials, civil society activists and development professionals. They came from places as diverse as Chechenya, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Cameroon, Kenya, Pakistan, Ecuador, Mexico and Kiribati.

Development Planning Unit

Caren Levy
Julian Walker
Kamna Patel
Romola Sanyal
Michael Walls

GPPP Associates

Nadia Taher
Claudy Vouhe

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The DPU runs a 30 credit module on Gender Policy and Planning as an optional module for Master’s students at DPU, as well as students from the linked UCL and SOAS MA in ‘Gender, Society and Representation’. The Gender Policy and Planning team also make inputs to the UCL MA in ‘Gender, Society and Representation'

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